Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lentil Chili for Dummies

Tonight for dinner, I made one of my favorite easy, cheap meals-- lentil chili, a vegetarian's best friend.

Now, there are a lot of great recipes out there for lentil chili (including my mom's!). On the plus side, they taste fantastic. On the minus side, they require tons of ingredients, including various fresh vegetables, and I never seem to have all the ingredients around when I want to make it.

I do make all-out lentil chili sometimes, and I freely admit, it tastes better that way. But usually I make a simplified version, which is still very yummy, and as cheap and simple as can be:

  • 1 lb. dried lentils ($0.50)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes ($0.50)
  • 6 cups of water
  • a healthy amount of various spices (maybe a couple teaspoons each? I just do what feels right!)-- cumin, chili pepper, garlic salt, black pepper
  • a splash of balsalmic vinegar
  • shredded cheese to top
Basically all you do is mix everything together (except for the balsalmic vinegar, which goes in right at the end, and the shredded cheese of course), cover, and simmer for an hour. And voila, you've got three servings' worth of lentil chili. I told you it was easy! And tasty. And healthy. And, as you can see, quite cheap. I'm not sure how much to estimate for the spices, vinegar, and cheese, but I'm guessing it's somewhere between 50 and 80 cents, which would make the cost $0.50-$0.60 a portion. Not bad, eh?

No comments: